Miami

Where to Go on a Date in Miami This Summer

From skating rinks and craft beer crawls to a parasail built for two.

Veza Sur Brewing Co
Veza Sur Brewing Co
Veza Sur Brewing Co

Summers aren’t the only thing in Miami that’s hot and steamy. Dating in Miami can be a special thing, so if you manage to find someone who piques your interest, then you better find something exceptional to do with them.

Sure there are plenty of date-worthy restaurants around the city, but if you’re looking for something above and beyond the usual white tablecloth rigamarole, we’ve got plenty of ideas mapped out for you right here. From beer crawls to drag brunches, parasailing and even ice skating, there’s something for every type of dater in the Magic City.

Superblue
Superblue
Superblue

Take in some of Miami’s most interesting art

Allapattah
At Superblue Miami, the large-scale immersive installations are perfect for a playful afternoon or evening with your beau. Think walking through a room of fluffy clouds or a mirror maze a la The Weeknd’s 2021 Super Bowl performance. Pure magic.

Dance and dine at a drag brunches

Various locations
If you’re hoping to shake up your daytime date routine, look no further than an extravagant drag brunch. The Palace on Ocean Drive is behind one of the city’s longest running (and probably most touristy) drag brunches, but for those in the market for a more local experience, head to R House in Wynwood or hit up the Fruit Cocktail brunch at Sweet Liberty.

Marco Borghini/Shutterstock
Marco Borghini/Shutterstock
Marco Borghini/Shutterstock

Spelunk in splashy style at Venetian Pool

Coral Gables
Located in the middle of prestigious Coral Gables is Venetian Pool, a unique urban respite cut from a coral rock quarry in 1923. The stunningly massive pool holds 820,000 gallons of spring water fed by an underground aquifer that keeps it at a deliciously cool temperature all year long. Sneak a kiss or two inside the cave-like grottos or underneath one of two cascading waterfalls.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Stroll through Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens

Pinecrest
Spend a romantic afternoon smelling the roses inside one of Miami’s lushest green spaces. Home to the only rainforest in the continental United States, expect over 83 acres of colorful plants often adorned with visiting art exhibits and installations. Check out their event calendar to plan your date around activities like dog walks, photography classes, live painting sessions, and even cooking classes.

People-watch from above while parasailing

Various locations
Planning a date with a thrill seeker? Book a half-day excursion with a parasailing company and prepare to soar over Miami Beach or Key Biscayne. You truly can’t beat those views.

Serenade your sweetie at Candlelight Concerts

Various locations
This series of intimate, warmly-lit concerts plays tribute to musical legends like Queen, Vivaldi, Chopin, Duke Ellington, and more via talented string quartets tailor made to set the mood as you and your sweetie snuggle up and enjoy the ambiance.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DANA AGENCY
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DANA AGENCY
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DANA AGENCY

Crash a hotel pool

South Beach
This might not be first date material, but it’s certainly fair game if you and yours are comfortable enough to admit to each other you can’t afford daybeds at 1Hotel. Not sure how? Here’s a handy guide. Pro tip: If you’re trying to keep things on the cheap, never order anything from the poolside attendants, but make sure you tip the towel guy well. And of course, if you’ve got the cash, you can always go ahead and ball out at one of the city’s best pool parties.

SchnepfDesign/Shutterstock
SchnepfDesign/Shutterstock
SchnepfDesign/Shutterstock

Discover a park unseen

Various locations
Sure it’s crazy humid and hot, but if you and your date are down to sweat out last night’s vodka sodas, exploring one of Miami’s many parks is a super chill way to do it. Matheson Hammock is a waterfront slice of old Florida with one of the most secluded beaches in the city. Or take the most scenic bike ride in Hialeah along the trails at Amelia Earhart Park.

Pretend it’s winter on ice skates

South Beach/Kendall
Looking for a way to escape the ungodly summer heat for a few hours? Grab a jacket and head to one of Miami’s ice skating rinks. Depending on the vibe you’re going for you’ve got a couple options. Want neon lights and cocktails? Head over to the EDITION where there’s a fun rink in the basement-it’s going to run you about $30 per person. Or if you want to go a little more local (not to mention cheaper), there’s always the Kendall Ice Arena for a mere $11. Both include skate rental.

Kayak at Oleta State Park

North Miami
Rent a kayak and paddle out to one of Biscayne Bay’s deserted islands with a picnic basket full of eats from nearby Blue Marlin Fish House Restaurant. Nothing beats fish dip, a surprise sighting of manatees, and a “delightful” afternoon on the sand. Up the romance factor by planning your adventure around the full moon where a special guided kayak tour includes glow sticks and s’mores on a nearby island with views of Miami’s skyline.

Veza Sur Brewing Co
Veza Sur Brewing Co
Veza Sur Brewing Co

Go on a Wynwood beer crawl

Wynwood
Wynwood has become Miami’s go-to ‘hood for beer. Kick things off at J Wakefield, then mosey down the street to Veza Sur, before ending up at La Tropical for award-winning Caribbean food and live music paired with one of Cuba’s most famous beers dating to 1888. And if you’re looking for variety, head down to KUSH Wynwood or Gramps. Done and done.

Stroll the weirdest boardwalk in America

Hollywood Beach  
The Hollywood Boardwalk boasts some of the most colorful characters in South Florida. And not because of their football-colored tans. Post up at one of the many beachside bars like Nick’s or The Taco Joint for an afternoon of the best people-watching in the area, and leave spending less than you would on a round most places in South Beach.

Los Altos Miami
Los Altos Miami
Los Altos Miami

Crawl down Calle Ocho

Little Havana
Trips to Miami’s formerly-Cuban enclave aren’t just for tourists, and you can spend an entire evening combing these few historic blocks. Start with dinner at Lung Yai Thai Tapas, grab drinks and do some dancing at Los Altos, catch your second wind with a cafecito, and continue the party at the Cubaocho Cultural Center. Finish the night with an order of Miami’s best tacos courtesy of El Taquito.

See for yourself that bowling is cool once again

Various locations
Relive your deviant high school days at Don Carter’s in a cleaner, classier environment. Kings Dining and Entertainment in Doral not only has a full bar, but they also have great food and big flat-screen TVs. Or you can head downstairs at the EDITION for trippy, multi-colored bowling that’s one of the cheapest things you can do in South Beach at less than $10 a game.

George Burba/Shutterstock
George Burba/Shutterstock
George Burba/Shutterstock

Go on a tranquil hike through the Everglades

West Dade
A scant 20 miles or so from downtown, we have one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet. A hike through the Cypress trees, swamps, and mangroves at Shark Valley or the Gumbo Limbo trail can be calmingly romantic and won’t cost you much more than the price of OFF!… and gas.

Catch the fastest game on earth

Dania Beach
Jai-alai, believe it or not, is not just a delicious IPA. It’s a game where men in helmets hurl a ball against a wall at speeds over 100mph, and you bet on who wins while drinking beer and heckling. With $2 minimum bets and cheap beer, Dania Jai-Alai is hours of entertainment where you might actually come out ahead. Or you can check out Miami’s first new fronton in decades at Calder.

New World Symphony
New World Symphony
New World Symphony

BYOB at New World Center

Miami Beach
Whether you’re taking advantage of the SoundScape movies or WALLCAST Concerts on the 7,000-square-foot projection wall, bring some booze, a date, and a blanket for… err… well, this is Miami so let’s just say it’s not for keeping warm.
 

Trip out at a laser show, then spend an evening at the museum

Downtown
Every Friday the Frost Museum hosts hourly laser shows from 7pm to midnight for $10, and the museum stays open late with a bar and light food. Sip a drink by the rooftop aquarium before catching a little Laser Daft Punk for an evening that’s both charming and educational.

BirdBowl Bowling Center
BirdBowl Bowling Center
BirdBowl Bowling Center

Go on a vintage tour of Westchester

Westchester
Take a trip back in time and visit Bird Road’s coolest vintage spots. Your itinerary includes Bird Bowl, Yesterday and Today Records, A&M Comics, and Miami Twice. When it comes to food, choose between El Rey de Las Fritas, Arbetter’s Hot Dogs, and Frankie’s Pizza.
 

Escape to a secluded island… sort of

Key Biscayne
Not that going to the beach in Miami is a particularly novel date idea, but make the drive to Bill Baggs State Park on a weekday and you might find yourselves on a completely empty beach, with views of nothing but the Atlantic Ocean. We’re not suggesting you do anything to take advantage of this cinematically romantic situation, but just an FYI, there is a cool lighthouse here, too.

Gulfstream Park
Gulfstream Park
Gulfstream Park

Pony Up

Hallandale Beach
Head to Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino and play the horses. Afterwards, hit up the bars and restaurants at The Village where, if you did well at the track, you can totally afford to splurge.

Rent a bike

Various locations
As in rent a Citi Bike and explore different parts of the city from a new perspective. You can even use one of the other suggestions on this list and make it a two-for-one score. Plus, if you’re from Miami, you probably really need to get out of your car.

Set the mood

Miami Beach
Can’t quite close the deal? Maybe the country’s largest erotic art collection, the World Erotic Art Museum (WEAM), can set the mood with a little help from Kama Sutra, bondage, and tons of boob pics. Plus, it’s open until midnight.
 

Bring a picnic to South Pointe Park

SoFi
The best food deal in Miami is, without debate, the fried chicken at Joe’s Take-Away for $6.95. Grab a couple orders of that and a bottle of wine from Publix (this is a cheap date, remember) and head over to South Pointe Park to catch the sunset over the skyline. It’s the best 180-degree view in the city and a more romantic experience than most expensive restaurants.

Slide through a waterpark

Aventura
Remember when you took those middle school field trips to the water park, and it was literally the highlight of the school year? Relive those days of unbridled fun — this time with cocktails — at Tidal Cove at the JW Marriott in Aventura. The lines are rarely long if you go during the week, and you both can relax holding hands through the lazy river.

Espanola Way
Espanola Way
Espanola Way

Escape to Europe…in South Beach

South Beach
The Mediterranean-inspired pedestrian mall that is Espanola Way is another spot that might be better for locals than tourists, where you can dine al fresco at Italian, Spanish, or Mexican restaurants and get 20% off as a local. After eating, you can enjoy live flamenco performances on Friday, live opera on Wednesday, or do a morning yoga date on Saturday then enjoy croissants at a La Folle.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Mandy Baca is a Thrillist contributor from Miami. Follow her on Twitter at @mandybaca.

Curt Hollingsworth is a Miami local who’s been on some pretty lousy dates. The ones you just read are not them. 

Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist. 

Miami

Bad Bunny and David Grutman's Sexy AF Miami Steakhouse is Finally Here

The rapper does whatever he wants.

Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis
Photo by Michael Stavaridis

David Grutman is back at it again, and this time the hospitality guru is bringing a new partner into the fold-award-winning recording artist, Bad Bunny. Located in Miami’s trendy Brickell neighbourhood, Gekkō, which translates to “moonlight” is a Japanese-inspired steakhouse that will serve fancy cuts of Wagyu alongside a bevy of sushi offerings. In true Groot Hospitality form, this isn’t your basic steakhouse, it’s also got a lounge that very well may play the sounds of Bad Bunny and the like into the wee hours of the night.

“Gekkō is the result of so many of my obsessions in food,” says David Grutman, Founder of Groot Hospitality. “It’s a steakhouse inspired by Japanese cuisine. There are delicious, innovative sushi rolls. There’s a lounge. I knew I wanted to do something that combined these worlds, and once I started speaking with Bunny, I knew he’d be a great partner. Gekkō is about having an incredible meal while having an equally incredible night.”

Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE
Photo by WORLD RED EYE

To celebrate the opening of Gekkō (not so coincidentally the same weekend Bad Bunny has two shows scheduled in South Florida), the crew hosted a massive grand opening party that attracted dozens of A-list celebrities and friends of both Grutman and Bad Bunny. Upon arrival, in his white Bugatti, mobs of fans who spent the entire evening swarming the restaurant began chanting “Benito! Benito!” as he exited his car in an all black suit paired with black sunglasses.

The night went something like this. A-list artists of every genre came out to celebrate. Future and Lil Wayne were seen on a couch in deep conversation and catching up with Mack Maine. Bad Bunny and Karol G were spotted running from table to table together, while DJ Khaled was seen embracing Bad Bunny and congratulating him on such a beautiful new restaurant. Timbaland and Andy Garcia were spotted hanging out for a long period, while Sophie Turner and her husband, Joe Jonas, hung with Victoria and David Beckham. Amidst that hundreds of average joes mixed and mingled while attempting to make their way to the bar so they could get a peek at some of the restaurant’s cocktails and sushi bites. It was quite a scene.

Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis
Photo courtesy of Michael Stavaridis

Okay, so back to the restaurant. Gekkō was designed by New York City-based architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, and is made up of three different rooms with seats for up to 185 diners. It’s centred around sultry jewel-toned decor with plush and stylistic elements like a custom gold and red dip-dyed rope installation, graphic wall coverings, and velvet drapery.

Now you might be wondering about the food, because that’s really why we’re going to a restaurant, right? Gekkō’s menu begins with shared plates where diners will find things like a signature Japanese milk bread, “Lava and Ice” Kumamoto Oysters, lobster dumplings, and a wedge salad. When it comes to raw plates there’s sushi and sashimi classics as well as an opulent 24k Otoro, that’s exactly what it sounds like-deliciously tender fatty tuna covered in a layer of 24k gold leaf.

Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision
Photo by Libby Vision

Then there’s the steaks which include a Tomahawk cut, an olive-fed filet mignon from Kagawa, Japan, and a snow beef strip from Hokkaido, Japan. Specialty preparations include Wagyu skirt steak and a bone-in ribeye. And because Grutman is always sure his restaurants cater to the tastes of everyone, there’s even some plant-based chicken options and more.

“Sitting down with friends to enjoy a good meal is one of the moments I value the most,” says Bad Bunny. “I am thrilled that now I will have a hand in creating this experience for others.”

Gekkō opens tonight at 8 SE 8th Street in Brickell. The dining room and lounge serve customers from 6 to 11 pm Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Valet parking is available for $20 or you can attempt to find a street parking on Brickell. Visit gekko.com for reservations.

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Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.

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